If your breasts are sagging or they don’t look the way you want, you have options to change the size or shape with plastic surgery. Breast augmentation is the best-known and the most popular of the breast surgeries, but a breast lift can also help you achieve your goals. If you’re concerned about scarring or the procedure itself, information about this procedure can help you make the right decision.
Why Women Choose to Have a Breast Lift
A breast lift can be the right option for women whose breasts have started to sag. They may have lost volume and elasticity, which results in drooping without a good support bra. Many women choose to have a breast lift after they have lost a significant amount of weight, changing volume and shape of their breasts. They might choose this procedure after breastfeeding to regain the perkiness they had before having children.
Some women decide to combine a breast lift with a breast augmentation or breast reduction. They may need a breast lift if they decide to have their breast implants removed. The breast lift will tighten the tissue and skin, causing the breasts to sit higher on the chest. Other women notice that their breasts hang lower than they once did and decide to have the surgery to fight the signs of aging.
Who Benefits from a Breast Lift
Women who are unhappy with the position of their breasts may benefit from having them lifted. One reason that women choose to have this procedure is because it’s easier to fit into tops and swimsuits after the lift. They feel more confident in the clothes they wear, especially more revealing clothing.
Women who experience neck and back pain can also benefit from a breast lift. If the breasts are large and hang down, they can place added stress on the neck and back. Patients may opt for a breast reduction and lift to relieve the pain.
What to Expect When You Have a Breast Lift
The first step for a breast lift is to schedule a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon. The doctor will meet with you and discuss your goals. They will perform a physical exam, which will help them decide on the type of breast lift you need. The doctor will schedule the surgery, which is an outpatient procedure. They will tell you to bring someone to be your driver to take you home.
On the day of surgery, the surgeon will sedate you or use general anesthesia for the procedure. They will make incisions on each of your breasts and tighten the muscle and skin to lift the breast where you want it. The surgeon may need to reposition the areola and nipple, depending on how much lift was needed. After you’ve had some time to wake up from the surgery, they will allow you to go home, usually with compressed garments to help reduce the swelling.
Types of Breast Lifts
Several options exist for a breast lift. The decision on which one the surgeon will use for you depends on how much lift is needed, among other factors. The surgeon and you will decide on the type of lift together in your consultation.
- Anchor lift: This type of lift is required for women who need more lift and results in more scarring with multiple incisions.
- Crescent lift: This type of breast lift is most often used when a patient needs minimal lift. It has the least scarring because only one incision is needed, which is placed on the top edge of the areola.
- Donut lift: Only one incision is needed with this lift, but it is larger than with the crescent lift. It creates a circle around the areola instead of just being at the top.
- Lollipop lift: This incision is given its name because of how it appears around the breast. It’s one of the most common types of procedures, and the incision begins at the bottom of the areola and goes down to the crease and around the areola.
- Horizontal Mastopexy: This type of lift uses horizontal incisions in areas that will be hidden in clothing. It has less scarring around the areola.
Your surgeon will help you decide on the best type of breast lift, depending on how much lifting is needed and whether you’re having another procedure done at the same time. If there is significant lifting, the surgeon may need to reposition the areola and nipple.
Information About Breast Lift Recovery
Once the surgery is finished, you can expect to wear a compression garment to help the swelling go down faster and prevent pulling on the incisions. The breasts will have some bruising and swelling and feel tender. You may be given pain medication for the first day or two. Most patients can transition to over-the-counter pain medication after that time.
Swelling and discomfort should continue to improve each day. You will likely be able to return to work after several days, but your activities will be limited. It will be about 6 to 8 weeks before you can start strenuous exercise again. Your surgeon will schedule a follow-up visit to see how the incisions are healing. You will begin to notice the results as soon as the swelling goes down, but it can be six months before the final results are evident.
Will a Breast Lift Leave Scars?
A breast lift will leave scars wherever incisions are made. How big the scars are and how many depends on the procedure being performed. Your surgeon should explain the basics of the surgery to you during your consultation and let you know what you can expect with scarring. One of their goals will be to minimize scarring, which will help them determine the best procedure to use.
The scars will start out raised and red after the incisions heal. In time, they can fade to pink before turning to white. The raised area will smooth out, making them less noticeable.
How to Reduce Scarring After a Breast Lift
While it’s nearly impossible to avoid scarring after having a breast lift, you can reduce the amount of scarring you have. The most important step is to choose the right surgeon. They will select the best type of incision to reduce the amount of scarring that can be seen in clothing by making the incision in an area that is hidden even when you’re wearing a bikini top.
Before the surgery, stop smoking, which can hamper blood flow to the area during recovery. After the surgery, follow all the instructions the surgeon gives you to help with healing. Continue to avoid smoking during the recovery process.
Massage the area around the incisions once they have started to heal. This increases blood flow, which will help promote healing and loosen up any scar tissue that is forming. You can get a gel or ointment that’s designed to reduce scars and apply it to the area as directed.
Avoid resuming activities before you’re released by the doctor. Continue to wear the compression garments for as long as they recommend. If you perform activities that pull on your incision, you increase the risk of more significant scarring.
Continue to follow the doctor’s guidelines and return for any follow-up visits. They can monitor your incisions to ensure they heal properly. If you’re still concerned about scars after the incisions are fully healed, you can discuss treatments for scars with your plastic surgeon.
Are You Considering a Breast Lift?
If you’re thinking about having a breast lift because your breasts aren’t as perky as they once were, don’t let the fear of scarring keep you from moving forward. Find a reputable plastic surgeon with experience in breast surgeries for a consultation. They can answer your questions about the procedure and any resulting breast lift scars.
The surgeon will choose the incision sites for your breast lift to keep any scars hidden by your bra or bikini top. A breast lift can help you feel more confident about how you look and how you fit in your tops. Because scarring is minimal, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor on whether a breast lift is right for you. If you look at before and after photos of breast lifts, you’ll see the benefits far outweigh any concerns for most women. Discuss your concerns with your surgeon and make the decision that’s right for you.